Last week, Sigma Lambda Beta’s new Executive Director, Xavier Romano, was announced.
Xavier, (pronounced Javier), comes from Oregon and has 30 years of experience in Higher Education and Student Affairs. We decided to ask Xavier a few questions to get to learn more about him and to give brothers the chance to hear about what Xavier has to say about Sigma Lambda Beta.
I had an opportunity to sit down with Xavier via video conference prior to his arrival and get to know him a little better. Read below to get to know our new Executive Director!
Julian: How does your personal experience with Greek Life help you with the new ED position?
Xavier: As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, I entered Greek Life at a time when there weren’t many options, especially when it came to a diverse brotherhood. I enjoyed my experiences as a Chi Psi brother during undergrad but often fell out of place because I was always the only Latino. It was a strange reality, but it was my reality and I made due with it.
I have a lot of respect and orgullo for what you all at Sigma Lambda Beta have done in 31 years. I feel that I can connect with the brothers and in particular, the undergraduates because of my experiences navigating a college campus while being a student of color on a predominantly white campus.
J: What are you looking forward to the most as the new Executive Director of SLB?
X: First off, I am looking forward to living closer to my daughter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My wife and I are excited about the opportunity of living in the same city as our daughter. Second but most importantly, I am excited that I get a chance to work with a group of men and organization that has an enormous amount of potential that exists.
J: As an outsider or “non-brother”, what kind of struggles do you see?
X: I very much see my role as a steward. One of the many questions I asked myself prior to me accepting the position was, how do I contribute to the greater good to support this extraordinary group of men and help them achieve their full potential as an organization? That’s why I am here.
I am very much aware of my status as an “outsider” or “non-brother” but I think have a unique understanding of the fraternity and the more I learn about the organization and the men, the more I am impressed. I realize that many might not be warm to an Executive Director who is not a brother but I would like to let the brothers know that I am here as a steward, to serve our membership and to ensure that I am pushing the SLB narrative as best as possible.
I also think that having something that helps me is that I have been on the other side of higher education as a senior university administrator and working with Greek Life I am able to bring a different side to the Executive Office that necessarily hasn’t been there.
J: What are some things that you look to work on as the Executive Director?
X: I am very much aware of the national conversations going on with Greek Life because of my most recent position at Eastern Oregon University. Most importantly, I am aware of the issues and challenges that culturally based organizations currently face. It is time to really think about the path forward while keeping in mind that Sigma Lambda Beta is not a traditional Greek-lettered society. It is a very different fraternity that is based on social justice issues, on equity and access issues.
There is a fantastic opportunity for SLB to shape the national narrative and we as a collective have the power to dictate how fraternities across the nation position themselves when it comes to social issues. I think that the timing is right and SLB should be the national leader by setting the example through our actions at the national level.
Congrats to Xavier! Please feel free to congratulate Xavier by emailing him at xromano [at]sigmalambdabeta[dot]com.